Computer forensics, also referred to as Computer Forensic Science is actually a branch of digital forensic science that pertains to the legal evidence that is found in computers alongside other forms of digital storage media. The main goal of computer forensics is basically to examine the digital media in a forensically sound perspective with the main aim of identifying, securing, recovering, analyzing and presenting the facts and opinions about that particular digital information. And many colleges are now offering degrees in the field of computer forensics.
Even though it is in most cases associated with the investigation of a large variety of computer crime, computer forensics can also be used in certain civil proceedings. The discipline basically involves the use of similar techniques and principles of data recovery, but also with additional guidelines and practices that are designed to create a legal audit trail. The evidence from computer forensics investigations is usually put through the same guidelines and practices as other digital evidence
All about Computer Forensics
When we talk about computer forensics it basically relates to the use and application of special analytical methods employed to get, authenticate, preserve, recover, and analyze the electronic data meant for legal purposes. In other words, applied forensic computing is technically made up of four main stages, namely: Identification of the sources of the digital evidence required, securing and preserving the identified evidence, analyzing the evidence that has been acquired and finally documenting the legally admissible evidence to be presented.
According to the computer forensics world, the most likely of scenarios in which forensic computing is also employed include, accidental or deliberate unauthorized disclosure or access to corporate data, employee internet misuse or abuse, damage assessments and analysis, industrial espionage and or criminal fraud and the deception cases.
Careers in Computer Forensics
A Computer Forensics Investigator or just Forensic Analyst is a particularly trained professional working alongside law agencies, and private firms, so as to retrieve data from computers as well as other storage devices. The equipment can at times be damaged either internally or externally corrupted by way of viruses or hacking.
The Forensic Analyst is known for working just within the law enforcement industry; however, he or she may also be tasked to test the security of private companies’ information systems. The analyst must have an excellent working knowledge of all the aspects of the computer inclusive of but not limited to the hard drives, networking, and encryption. Patience and the endurance to work long hours are some of the qualities that are well-suited for undertaking this position.
During criminal investigations, the analyst recovers and examines the data from computers and other data storage devices in order to use the data as the evidence in criminal prosecutions. In case the equipment is damaged, the analyst must by all means dismantle and rebuild the system so as to recover the lost data. After retrieving the data, the analyst then writes up technical reports detailing on how the computer evidence was discovered and all steps taken in the retrieval process.